Septic Systems

If you are doing business with us, we thank you. If not, we would like the opportunity to serve you. Satisfied customers are our best advertisement, so we encourage you to give us feedback on how we are doing. Furthermore, we would like to give you some information that we think can be very helpful and save you money. Skip ahead to Warning Signs

Operation & Maintenance

  • The contents of the septic tank should be pumped every two to three years or when the total depth of sludge and scum exceeds one-third of the liquid depth of the tank. If the tank is not cleaned periodically, the solids are carried into the absorption field; rapid clogging occurs; premature failure follows; and finally, the absorption field must be replaced. Pumping your septic tank is less expensive than replacing your absorption field.
  • Detergents, kitchen wastes, laundry wastes and household chemicals in normal amounts do not affect the proper operation of household sewage treatment systems. However, excessive quantities can be harmful.
  • Avoid the disposal of cigarette butts, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, plastics, trash, etc., into your household sewage system. These items are not readily decomposed.
  • Garbage grinders substantially increase the accumulation of solids in the septic tank, as well as the solids entering the absorption fields and pits. Their disadvantages outweigh the convenience they provide and are not recommended for households with their own sewage treatment systems. If used, the septic tank size should be increased.
  • Cesspool Diagram
  • Connecting your laundry wastes to a separate waste system (dry well or seepage pit), while not normally necessary, will reduce the load on the regular system and permit the survival of a marginal system.
  • All roof, cellar and footing drainage, and surface water must be excluded from the system. This drainage water can be discharged to the ground surface without treatment; make sure it drains away from your sewage treatment system.
  • Roof downspouts should not drain toward the absorption field.
  • Backwash from water softeners and/or iron/manganese removal equipment may be discharged to the septic tank and absorption system or to a separate system.
  • Roots from trees in the immediate area of the absorption lines may clog the system.
  • Keep swimming pools (above or in-ground) away from the absorption field.

What affects your septic tank?

  • Leaky/running toilets – will destroy a system within six(6) months
  • Water softeners – DO NOT connect to septic
  • Sump pumps – DO NOT connect to septic
  • Household cleaners – bacteria MUST BE PRESENT in your tank- cleaners with a warning “harmful or fatal if swallowed” will harm bacteria. Try organic products, there are many on the market that work just as good.
  • Grease – DO NOT put down drain
  • Garbage disposal – not recommended
  • Tree roots – DO NOT plant trees on or near septic system
  • Toilet tissue – DO NOT USE soft, cottony toilet tissue (even though it says septic safe), anything soft and cottony(wipes) being flushed will destroy your system- we recommend only Scotts or Marcal
  • Amount of people – 1.3 people per bedroom is the norm
  • Water usage, including your washing machine and dishwasher – limit to 1 shower per day/ per person and 2 or 3 loads of laundry every other day – try putting Dishwasher on at off peak times – USE WATER SPARINGLY

If you follow the above and pump your tank every 2-3 years it will avoid a financial burden in the future. If you are not following the above guidelines, pump your tank more frequently. Also, try not to pump your tank during winter months when the ground is frozen, it may cost an additional fee! Know your septic company! They should only have to pump from your solid tank (the main lid, not a clean-out, the small pipe). Make sure all sludge is being removed. Know the size of your tank, don’t let them charge you for more than you have. Watch out for hidden charges. ASK questions before they get there, e.g. is there a charge for same day service, emergency, digging, back flushing, fuel surcharge, etc. If you are being charged for digging, consider installing a riser.

Warning Signs

  • Slow flushing
  • Slow shower drains
  • Washing machine not draining/ back-up
  • Back-up (lowest point first)
  • Yard wet and/ or mushy in area of field/tank

Do’s & Don’t

  • Do learn the location of your septic tank and drain field. Keep sketch of it handy with your maintenance record for service visits.
  • Do have your septic tank pumped out regularly by a licensed contractor.
  • Do keep your septic tank cover accessible for inspections and pumping. Install risers if necessary.
  • Do keep a detailed record of repairs, pumping, and inspections.
  • Don’t allow anyone to drive or park over any part of the system.
  • Don’t plant anything over or near the drain field except grass.
  • Don’t flush dental floss, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, fat, grease, oil, kitty litter, coffee grinds, cigarette butts, or condoms, just to name a few.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a trash can or poison your septic system and the groundwater by pouring harmful chemicals and cleansers down the drain.